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Gwen Bergner

Associate Professor

Curriculum Vitae
My current research projects cohere around a core focus on the intersections of race and gender with the purpose of advancing the arc of social justice. I am co-editing a special topic issue of American Literature on the “Plantation, the Post-Plantation, and the Afterlives of Slavery” and writing an essay on the film Imitation of Life (1959, dir. Douglas Sirk), provisionally titled “White Glitter, Black Matter.” I am also completing an essay on increasing access to global service learning courses for underrepresented students. Having led three groups of students on service learning trips to the Caribbean, I want to make these courses more accessible to students of color and first generation college students. I am honored to have received the Eberly College Outstanding Teacher award and the Bordinat Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement (English) in 2017-2018.


  • Race and Black Studies
  • Postcolonial and Caribbean Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • American Studies
  • Film and Visual Studies

Selected Publications:

  • Taboo Subjects: Race, Sex, and Psychoanalysis. University of Minnesota Press, 2005.
  • Lòt bò dlo and the Spatial Relations of Dyaspora.” Narrating History, Home, and Nation: Critical Essays on Edwidge Danticat. Ed. Maia Butler, Megan Feifer, and Joanna Davis-McElligatt (UP of Mississippi, under contract).
  • “Danticat’s Vodou Vernacular of Women’s Human Rights.” American Literary History, 29.3 (2017): 521-545.
  • “Zoning in on the American Tropics.” American Literary History 27.4 (2015): 831-842.
  • “Veiled Motives: Women’s Liberation and the War in Afghanistan.” Globalizing Afghanistan: Terrorism, War, and the Rhetoric of Nation Building. Ed. David Jefferess and Zubeda Jalalzai. Durham: Duke UP, 2011. 95-116.
  • “Black Children, White Preference: Brown v. Board, the Doll Tests, and the Politics of Self-Esteem” American Quarterly 61.2 (June 2009): 299-332
  • “Politics and Pathologies,” Frantz Fanon: Critical Perspectives, ed. A. Allessandrini, Routledge, 1999.
  • “Myths of the Masculine Subject: Freud’s Oedipus Complex and Douglass’s 1845 Narrative,” The Psychoanalysis of Race, ed. Christopher Lane, Columbia UP, 1998.
  • “Who is that Masked Women? Or, the Role of Gender in Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks,” PMLA 110.1 (1995): 75-88.